It took me almost a month before I got hold of my very first iPhone, ie. the iPhone 5. I did try to make a go for it on its first 2 days of launch on the Apple.com HK site as in that country it is using the lottery/ballot system to determine who get to buy them every day. Even today it is still adopting that very strategy. I suppose Apple store didn't want to deal with a load of customers coming to its 2 stores in Hong Kong and not serving the crowd well. It's foregone conclusion that there would be loads of crowd. So, whoever get the lucky draw the day before can then go and collect his/her prize the next day. I tried the first 2 days but wasn't so lucky. Then I had to leave for vacation to Korea and hence ended up not getting it thereafter. I finally got one in Singapore upon my arrival to the country last monday. The craze here is not as bad as that of Hong Kong.
I had skipped 6 iPhone versions before generation 5. The reason I decided to buy now was simply because it is now "sleek, thin & light".
After almost a week of use, here are my observations and experiences (based on the fact I have iPad 2 and is familiar with Apple iTunes store and its ecosystem):
Weight - It is much much lighter than the iPad and also the other generations of iPhones due to its thinner exterior and also a different casing material.
Look - It looks updated, sleek & futuristic. Not that the other iPhones weren't back then when they were launched. Still, I do like the feel of its case and especially the black matt finish.
Speed - With an improved core processor, it runs faster than its predecessor.
Camera - I was an Android user before I bought the iPhone 5. Camera function on the iPhone is much superior and gives a more natural rendition in terms of colors than the Samsung phones. The reason why I chose IPhone 5 over those of Samsung's (latest being S3 and Note 2) is because I really hate the (unnatural) color I spotted on Samsung's screen. That alone is enough to turn me away!
Battery - To someone who had been spoilt with long battery life on the iPad (some 9 or 10 hours), the battery life on the iPhone 5 needs some getting use to. If I spend time working on the phone non-stop, it lasts only some 3+ hours, I reckon. However, if one is not constantly playing games or it or downloading apps, it probably can get by the day without recharging, provided one doesn't spend hours talking on the phone. Otherwise, an external battery charger is essential. In this regard, Apple is not optimizing user experience as far as I'm concerned. If it can provide substantially long battery life in iPad mini, why can't it do so on the iPhone?!
Screen size - 4" may be good to hold in the hand but it is a torture when it comes to watching videos. I need at least a 5" so that my eyes won't strain so much! Then again, I guess I'll just have to keep to watching videos on the iPad (or the iPad mini as soon as I get hold of the stock in a week or two)!
Cost - For a 5th generation product with 2 versions of generation 3 & 4, this is one expensive gadget!!! Costing almost US$1000 without contract and about half of it with contract. For the Android phones, they are normally bundled in HK with a two year contract for free!!! Although I paid for it thinking that I'm overpaying, I ended up asking more from the product and in that regard, the iPhone 5 is not good value for money!
So there goes the initial thought and feedback about the IPhone 5. I'm not that crazy over it that I'd go queue for it overnight or am I that excited over it after I bought it. I do feel that other than a better camera, it feels like an iPad nano (except that it has better quality camera). Other than that, it is so much more expensive than the iPad although when it comes to weight, it is just about 1/3 of the newly launched iPad mini. Is it worth paying so much more for a better camera? Well, it's up to individual and also how often one use that for social media. That's the main reason why it is getting a +4 and not +5.
In essence, I feel Apple needs to be more competitive where pricing is concerned and not keeping up with milking its loyal fans and customers years after years. Sure, its shareholders will not agree but after all these years, is Apple only interested in making money? Is that its main motivation? Now that Steve Jobs is no longer around, who is going to keep track of Apple's sense for design and strive for excellence?!
As far as the iPhone is concerned I'm a late adopter. Most of the Apple products I have had either the first generation (except for the iPad, the 2nd generation). When it comes to the iPhone though, I always find that it hadn't reached the standard I demanded of the cellphone, until now. The criteria I was searching for was sleek, light AND thin. Finally, Apple satisfies my concerns. Still, I think it can be improved further. A 5" screen would be preferable … more